Justice and care: theorising the 'New Man' and the 'Caring Father'

Marzano, Lisa; Capdevila, Rose; Ciclitira, Karen and Lazard, Lisa (2009). Justice and care: theorising the 'New Man' and the 'Caring Father'. Psychology of Women Section Review, 11(2) pp. 11–20.

URL: http://www.bpsshop.org.uk/Psychology-of-Women-Sect...


This paper considers ways in which the 'New Man' and the 'Caring Father' are conceptualised suggesting that discourses of justice and care, which draw on mainstream psychological theorising, have been intimately bound with a gendered notion and construction of these new and contemporary masculinities. Lawrence Kohlberg (1971, 1975), in his theory of moral development, identified the highest level of attainment as one which makes use of universal principles of justice and human rights. In response Carol Gilligan (1982) has argued that most women operate primarily by an ethic of 'care'. Whilst we would not want to subscribe to either of these psychological representations, we argue that these discourses are implied in dominant contemporary constructions of fatherhood. The particular tensions in representations of 'fathers' right' and 'new men' are both produced in and reproduce constructions like 'care' and 'justice'. In turn, these become implicated in practices and discourses of fatherhood in a range of arenas. In this paper we explore such tensions in three of these arenas: fathers' rights organisations, the military, and the prison system.

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